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pressed to make a longer stay, determined on the day of our departure—on the seventeenth of September we shall leave Eartham ; four days will be necesary to bring us home again, for I am under a promise to General Cowper to dine with him on the way, which cannot be done comfortably, either to him or to ourselves, unless we sleep that night at Kingston.
The air of this place has been, I believe, beneficial to us both. I indeed was in tolerable health before I set out, but have acquired since I came, both a better appetite, and a knack of sleeping almost as much in a single night as formerly in two. Whether double quantities of that article will be favourable to me as a poet, time must shew. About myself however I care little, being made of materials so tough, as not to threaten me even now, at the end of so many lustrums, with any thing like a speedy dissolution. My chief concern has been about Mrs. Unwin, and my chief comfort at this moment is, that she likewise has received, I hope, considerable benefit by the journey.
Tell my dear George that I begin to long to behold' him again, and did it not savour of ingratitude to the friend, under whose roof I am so happy
at present, should be impatient to find myself once more under yours.
Adieu! my dear Catharina. I have nothing to add in the way of news, except that Romney has drawn me in crayons, by the suffrage of all here, extremely like.
To the Revd. Mr. HURDIS.
Eartham, August 26, 1792.
MY DEAR SIR,
Your kind, but very affecting, Letter found me not at Weston, to which place it was directed, but in a bower of my friend Hayley's garden at Eartham, where I was sitting with Mrs. Unwin. We both knew the moment we saw it from whom it came, and observing a red seal, both comforted ourselves that all was well at Burwash: but we soon felt that we were called not to rejoice, but to mourn with you-we do indeed sincerely mourn with you, and if it will afford you any consolation to
know it, you may be assured that every eye here has testified what our hearts have suffered for you. Your loss is great, and your disposition 1 perceive such as exposes you to feel the whole weight of it; I will not add to your sorrow by a vain attempt to assuage it; your own good sense, and the piety of your principles, will, of course, suggest to you the most powerful motives of acquiescence in the will of God. You will be sure to recollect that the stroke, severe as it is, is not the stroke of an enemy, but of a father; and will find I trust hereafter, that like a father he has done you good by it. Thousands have been able to say, and myself as loud as any of them, it has been good for me that I was afflicted; but time is necessary to work us to this persuasion, and in due time it shall be yours. Mr. Hayley, who tenderly sympathises with you, has enjoined me to send you as pressing an invitation as I can frame, to join me at this place. I have every motive to wish your consent, both your benefit and my own, which, I believe, would be abundantly answered by your coming, ought to make me eloquent in such a cause. Here you will find silence and retirement in perfection, when you would seek them, and here such company as I have no doubt would suit you, all cheerful, but not noisy; and all alike disposed to love you : you and I seem to have here a fair opportunity of meeting. It were a pity we should be in the same county and not come together. I am here till the seventeenth of September, an interval that will afford you time to make the necessary arrangements, and to gratify me at last with an interview, which I have long desired. Let me hear from you soon, that I may have double pleasure, the pleasure of expecting, as well as that of seeing you.
Mrs. Unwin, I thank God, though still a sufferer by her last illness, is much better, and has received considerable benefit by the air of Eartham. She adds to mine her affectionate compliments, and joins me and Hayley in this invitation.
Mr. Romney is here, and a young man a Cousin of mine. I tell you who we are, that you may not be afraid of us.
Adieu ! May the Comforter of all the afflicted, who seek him, be yours. God bless you.
To Lady HESKETH.
Eartham, August 26, 1792.
I know not how it is, my dearest Coz. but in a new scene, and surrounded by strange objects, I find my powers of thinking dissipated to a degree, that makes it difficult to me even to write a Letter, and even a Letter to you ; but such a Letter as I can, I will, and have the fairest chance to succeed this morning, Hayley, Romney, Hayley's Son, and Beau, being all gone together to the sea for bathing. The sea, you must know, is nine miles off, so that unless stupidity prevent, I shall have opportunity to write not only to you, but to poor Hurdis also, who is broken-hearted for the loss of his favorite Sister, lately dead; and whose Letter, giving an account of it, which I received yesterday, drew tears from the eyes of all our party. My only comfort respecting even yourself is, that you write in good spirits, and assure me that you are in a state of recovery; otherwise I should mourn not only for Hurdis, but for myself, lest a certain event should reduce me, and